This is a monthly event started by the awesome Alex J. Cavanaugh and organized by the Insecure Writer's Support Group. Click here to find out more about the group and sign up for the next event.
First a couple of announcements:
1) Before you leave, don't forget to enter the giveaway at the bottom of the post, I'm offering 20 AUDIOBOOKS, so your odds to win are really high!!!
2) The Insecure Writer’s Support Group Guide to Publishing and Beyond is finally here and it's free! <- click
"Tapping into the expertise of over a hundred talented authors from around the globe, The IWSG Guide to Publishing and Beyond contains something for every writer. Whether you are starting out and need tips on the craft of writing, looking for encouragement as an already established author, taking the plunge into self-publishing, or seeking innovative ways to market and promote your work, this guide is a useful tool."
And now back to our regular programs.
This past month marked a nice achievement for me: my debut novel, Chimeras, passed the 2,000 sale mark. That's not stellar, but it's not too shabby either for a previously unpublished indie author. So I wrote to my agent and asked her if, between those sales and the awards I won, she could pitch the novel to the Amazon's mystery/thriller imprint. She did, and the answer came back very fast: turns out, they had already considered my book, given that it was going reasonably well and receiving positive reviews, but, alas, my main character doesn't fit what they are currently looking for. The editor added that, among the things they are currently interested in, are female sleuths and serial killers.
My first thought: How many books with female sleuths and serial killers can you think of in the next three minutes? I can think of one for every fingers and toes I have.
Sassy girls seem to be the hot thing right now. Could it be because this country has an issue with feminism? Hmm, let's see... you can't be a sassy woman at work, in fact, you'll always be paid less than men, but let's make it up with lots of fake, sassy heroines who, by the way, only exist in fiction. Mind you, I love strong female characters. I just happen to believe that we need to promote and support more strong women in REAL life rather than resort to having them in fiction only. But that's another story.
Detective Track Presius (the main character in Chimeras) is a lovable asshole who makes mistakes, like we all do, and then regrets making those mistakes. He's flawed and, personally, I like flawed characters who grow throughout books. And Chimeras readers -- mostly women, I must say -- love Track.
On the other hand, I did write a book where the main character is a woman, and she, instead, turned out to be a bit more difficult to like. In fact, my friend Mike, who's read every single book I've written so far, wrote to me the other day and said, "I'm not sure I like Skyler." I felt a pang. What is it with me and my characters? I don't know. I like complex, multi-dimensional characters. Not everybody's likable in real life. If we want to read about flawless women because today's society doesn't give them enough room in real life, then this society has some issues.
His response (he gave me permission to quote him): "Hey, liking is one thing, finding them really interesting is another. Not liking the main character is kind of refreshing. [...] I prefer an interesting character to the expected hero or heroine. No, I was thinking last night that I'm not so much reading this book as savoring it."
And that made me happy.
But boy, if you've ever gotten a review or some feedback on your main character, then you know how hard it is to accept that kind of criticism. And not only that, to make it a choice rather than just a "mistake"... And so here I am, on this IWSG Weds, telling you guys about my woes on my main characters. Because as much as I love them, not everybody does.
Don't forget to enter the giveaway below: 10 lucky winners will get 1 copy of the Chimeras audiobook and a second audiobook of their choice.
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